ASL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you have a question about LTC’s ASL services that wasn’t answered elsewhere? Don’t worry, someone else has probably asked it too! Take a look here and see if we’ve covered it.
How do I contact LTC to set up ASL interpreting services?
You can contact our main office at 888-456-1626 and we would be happy to write up a quote. 24 hours’ notice is ideal, but we are able to accommodate last minute emergencies.
Why are two ASL interpreters required for some appointments?
Simultaneous interpreting is very demanding and complex. Processing two different languages, interpreting in real time with little room for error, and culturally mediating are all crucial in the interpreting process. This can cause mental fatigue after prolonged periods of simultaneous interpreting which can affect the quality of the interpretation. Interpreting demands continuous concentration and effort that even the most experienced professional can only be effective for periods of around 20 minutes. After that time, they will switch to their fellow interpreter and rest.
The Deaf client reads lips, why do I still need to request an interpreter?
Reading lips is a very challenging in the best of circumstances. Only 30% of spoken English can be lip read, leaving 70% to be guessed by context. Providing an interpreter provides full equal access to communication.
The Deaf client brought a family member who says they can interpret. Why is this not an adequate substitute for providing a professional interpreter?
The main reason is there no way to assess the family members’ skill. This can lead to an inaccurate interpretation or even omission of important information. Professional interpreters are familiar with terminology specific jobs, follow a code of professional ethics, and must remain impartial and have strict adherence to confidentiality.
What is a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) and why is it recommended for some appointments?
CDIs are a great tool to have when the communication mode used by the Deaf client is unique, such as when they have minimal or limited communication skills or use signs that a hearing interpreter may not know. For example: foreign signed languages. Having a CDI in conjunction with a hearing interpreter ensures that miscommunications don’t happen when alternative modes of sign language are being used.
How do I utilize an interpreter?
The interpreter is a neutral unbiased party who will facilitate communication between you and the Deaf client. The interpreter will position themselves next to whoever is speaking so the client is able to see the speaker and the interpreter at the same time. Speak to the client directly, not to the interpreter. If you have any questions or concerns, let the interpreter know.
What qualifications do your ASL interpreters have?
LTC recognizes different state licensures as well as the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) National Interpreter Certification (NIC). Some regions consider a degree from an Interpreter Education Program or growing up in a household where ASL is the first language sufficient qualification to become an interpreter.
Am I required to provide an ASL interpreter?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 established laws to protect people with disabilities from discrimination. Specifically for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals, the ADA states:
“No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation.”
Additionally, discrimination includes:
“…a failure to take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services…”
The ADA definition of “auxiliary aids and services” includes “qualified interpreters or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments.”
According to the ADA, it is usually up to the institution in question to provide — and pay for — any necessary sign language interpreting. If an institution does not comply by providing ASL interpreting to meet the needs of a Deaf individual, it may suffer serious penalties.